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Was Jolla Sabotaged like Nokia?

asked 2015-12-01 12:29:25 +0200

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updated 2016-01-14 01:12:33 +0200

sifartech gravatar image

(I am wearing my conspiracy theory hat now. :)

The Background

For the American initiative to spy on the world to succeed, it broadly needed to achive three goals - have complete dominance on OS'es that run computers (smartphones incuded), browser technology (the current popular mode through which internet is accessed) and use of cloud based technology (so that people start storing their personal info on computers the users doesn't own or control).

To this end, their brilliant approach towards this goal is to ensure that American businesses lead in the development of these technologies, ensure that this technology is denied to others and to use their enormous business clout (backed by one-sided trade treaties aggresively pushed by the US government) to ensure that no other competing business (from other countries) is allowed to dominate in these areas.

While Windows OS is a dominant platform and runs on nearly 90% of home and corporate PC's, Nokia mobile phones and its Symbian OS (along with a few other OS) were dominant on mobile phones a decade ago. It was thus imperative to destroy Nokia so that an American managed and controlled OS could be run on any mobile phones.

To that end, all of us are familiar how Nokia was screwed by its CEO (a Microsoft guy), who many believe intentionally worked to destroy Nokia from within, so that Microsoft could buy out its Nokia mobile division. (Ofcourse, while Microsoft still continues to fail with its OS even through Nokia, other American companies in this field are doing quite well - Android from Google and ios from Apple - and today dominate the mobile OS ecosystem worldwide).

Something similar was also happening to another European company - Opera. While Chromium, Webkit, Firefox and Internet Explorer (all browser technologies currently owned and controlled by US firms) rules on the PC's, Opera was the number 1 browser on the mobile platform. Through investors, perhaps influenced by Google, the original founder and CEO was chucked out, the company changed direction and become an ad company, and even dumped their original browser code to now use Google's browser. Thus, another European company and technology was subsumed by the Americans.

The push towards storing everything on the cloud should be very obvious now to everyone - whether you use Apple products, or Windows 10 or mobile OS or Android - every device with American software is making a congruent, concerted effort to push their users to use the "cloud".

Now, let me come back to Jolla and Sailfish OS.

Jolla in the Public Eye

Despite its financial situation (that we weren't aware of), Jolla was suddenly picking up momentum in the past year. BRICS (well, mostly Russia and China) were taking an interest in Jolla, exploring alternate OS platforms. The Jolla tablet campaign, though small, was quite successful and generated very good publicity for Jolla. Intex announced publicly that it would be launching a mobile phone powered by Sailfish. Nokia would be free to launch their own smart phones in 2016.

Sailfish starts losing 'unlike' charm, looking more like Android and IOS

With Sailfish OS 2.0, Jolla announced a change in the interface to 'accommodate' the larger screen of the tablet. While it all sounded good, the released product met with a lot of criticism and users felt the changes were quite unwelcome. Many felt that Sailfish OS 2.0 UI now looked more like Android or ios and the current UI design looks like a slightly unpolished, fancy android launcher running on Android OS. Many felt that new users would think that Sailfish seemed to have copied and tweaked their interface from a mish-mash of such Android launchers.

It's not always easy to say no to investors as management generally prefers to be in their good book. Were these changes made to please some existing or prospective investors with other vested interests, who proposed to them that the OS would be more acceptable to new buyers if it looked more like Android or ios?

Why would a company deliberately try to kill the 'uniqueness' of its product that had attracted its initial user base?

Bankrupt Jolla

Despite the grumblings from its users about the changes to the OS, most were excited at the prospect of Jolla's growth and future. It seemed as though Sailfish OS was on the cusp to become a commercially viable platform that could threaten the dominance of Androids and iPhones (ofcourse, in the far future).

But suddenly we hear of investors backing out from their promises.

I wonder if the timing is really a coincidence? Did these investors perhaps just dangle a carrot, knowing that Jolla would overstretch themselves?

Ofcourse, I am not offering any excuses for the management who spent money that they didn't have in the first place - by diverting the crowdfunded tablet money for other purposes in expectation of the investors funds.

Still, I can't help but wonder whether they were just fooled by the investors so that Jolla would go bankrupt?

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It is very convenient and tempting to blame Jolla's fail on external forces, but unfortunately it looks like simple mismanagement. I seriously doubt Google/Apple/NSA/CIA/whatever would go out of their way do sink Jolla.

ScumCoder ( 2015-12-01 12:38:36 +0200 )edit

Divide et impera still seems to work well with Europe. BTW: I am missing "Issue #4" in the title ;)

lakutalo ( 2015-12-01 13:00:28 +0200 )edit

Nokia's mobile business was struggling ankles deep in shit before they sold it to MS. By the time Elop came their business was nonprofitable and in pretty bad shape already. You may call it conspirancy, but I say it was just company refocusing and ripping off MS.

Okw ( 2015-12-01 13:29:06 +0200 )edit

@ScumCoder - They have been very aggressive with taking down US and European email services that offer encrypted email and / or storage services. A mismanaged Jolla would have been much easier to take down. And lets not forget that Jolla has been meeting with the Russians (OMG!) and also have Chinese investors. I would be very surprised if they weren't on the CIA / NSA's radar!

sifartech ( 2015-12-01 13:33:35 +0200 )edit

@Okw - No it wasn't as bad, and it could have been salvaged. Elop was actually more responsible for drowning Nokia in shit. Read this and this Nokia-Microsoft: 'A certain road to death'. There was also a very good, detailed blog post by an ex-nokia employee describing Nokia's condition before and after ELOP - can't seem to find it now.

sifartech ( 2015-12-01 13:55:35 +0200 )edit

6 Answers

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answered 2015-12-02 00:37:15 +0200

smoku gravatar image

updated 2015-12-02 00:45:00 +0200

Yes and No. Jolla was sabotaged like Nokia. But by Intel.

Recently Intel killed two birds with one stone planting the MeeGo trojan to Maemo and LiMo. Puff! Both're gone.

Now Intel planted the Tablet trojan to Jolla. And Puff! Jolla's gone.

Both trojans were designed to delay the next release of successful product, drain the resources, drastically change the direction, alienate the developer community. Both succeeded perfectly.

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You cant be serious?

tortoisedoc ( 2015-12-02 07:51:48 +0200 )edit

@tortoisedoc I wouldn't be surprised the least if that is what intel did. Intel has documented history of industrial sabotage. (see AMD vs intel lawsuit for painful details on exactly what they did). Remember this no longer is a "conspiracy", its documented fact and intel paid 1 Billion USD and some change for their actions.

Its an absolutely disgusting company, its practices (rigged compiler, punishes vendors that sell AMD systems by cutting "benefits" and such, pays off review sites etc) these kind of actions can't be attributed to random acts of individual employees, its from the top leadership.

I don't buy intel for moral reasons, and this is also why I didn't buy a jolla tablet. Performance is irrelevant. Its like you moving to a new apartment, they tell you all about its amenities and wonderful creature comforts, only when you go to view it you see a sewage facility across it with smell and rat infestation in the whole neighborhood. Granted, some might go in to check the apartment regardless, but I wouldn't, I would leave on the spot.

Even if I had to use VIA-made cpus with only 10% of performance of intel I would never buy intel.

SilentWanderer ( 2015-12-02 08:39:06 +0200 )edit

@SilentWanderer : I do not comment on rumors, but I must agree that there is a red string across Maemo / Meego / Limobo / Xarim (or what was the first one called which merged into MeeGo) / SailfishOS, and it's indeed Intel. Though I do not see how they could jeopardize jolla; they do not own any stock; the CPU's are not what was in shortage (Jolla money is).

tortoisedoc ( 2015-12-02 09:32:16 +0200 )edit

Can you elaborate on this? I mean, it's a theory I read now two or three times, bit I'm not exactly getting how. Any links? Any more details?

stephan ( 2016-01-15 14:33:29 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-12-02 10:50:44 +0200

Renha gravatar image

updated 2015-12-02 10:51:07 +0200

I've heard that there was conversation between Russian government and Jolla, and that was like:

R: Hi Jolla! Do you want some tea from samovar? We want you to make national operating system for us, with smarthphones, based on Sailfish. We have lot of roubles for you to do that, and our Yandex company could provide all necessary services for you.

J: not interested.

So in my opinion Jolla was Sabotaged by Jolla

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But that isn't what happened - Russia approved of Sailfish OS, and Jolla hasn't said no to any potential business relationship.

sifartech ( 2015-12-02 11:40:08 +0200 )edit


«Не имеет никакого смысла создавать национальную операционную систему», – сказал Саарнио.

google translate:

"It makes no sense to create a national operating system", - said Aarnio.

Renha ( 2015-12-02 13:22:24 +0200 )edit

There are multiple reasons to say "thanks, no"; first and foremost independence of SFOS.

tortoisedoc ( 2015-12-02 14:16:58 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-12-02 11:33:56 +0200

RickO gravatar image

updated 2015-12-02 11:46:59 +0200

Love a good conspiracy theory. The Chinese have various Linux based OS's - TOS+, YumOS and COS - all trying to establish themselves as and alternative to iOS and Android in China. China Mobile, (with their OPhone OS) an early supporter of Sailfish I believe - The Russian YotaPhone, (a possible - maybe - Sailfish OS client into the future) now 65% owned by Rex Int. Holdings out of Hong Kong. Meizu (who were to release a Ubuntu phone - did that actually happen) now owned by Alibaba's YumOS. The Jolla tablet would have been my first Intel driven device (previously always AMD - they sold their Fabs to a Taiwanese company many years ago leaving only Intel now but struggling) I am fully aware of Intels and Microsofts dirty deals over the years to kill off any opposition. Intel baiting Nokia with Meego, Microsoft stepping in to finish the kill. See if anything good comes from Intex. Based on other facts I'm trying to get a handle on - could be more than a coincidence. Jolla fell for the trap - getting baited with promises and dragged along until they ran out of money.

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answered 2016-01-30 14:06:36 +0200

8sam gravatar image

I know, that anyone who mentions some significant occurrences is immediately stamped as an anyone who spreads conspiracy theories, but be honest and observe all important impacts on the computer and mobile market, then you will see a very thick red line to your ideas.

For me it is very clear that your suspicion is unfortunately a fact and because of that it is necessary, that the Jolla project must survive.

Thanks for your detailed post

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Well, don't you have the impression that the explanation is probably very simple: an irresponsible investor decided to shake the tree (or the boat) at the worst moment and almost destroyed (or sank) it?

Contrary to the Nokia disaster, the Jolla (possible) disaster is perhaps just a matter of stupidity.

objectifnul ( 2016-01-30 14:53:51 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-01-15 13:13:49 +0200

stephan gravatar image

I'm under the impression Jolla sabotaged itself!

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More probably, some investor(s) did. Even if temporarily, the financial support was suddenly compromised, resulting in a brutal sail shortening that will take ages to recover. Now the question is: was this investor willing to kill Jolla for external purposes? or just to "punish" what he considered (rightly or wrongly) mismanagement?

objectifnul ( 2016-01-15 14:00:14 +0200 )edit

Interesting question, the end result is that Jolla has a damaged reputation, lost key personnel, lost community trust.

pmelas ( 2016-01-15 14:18:24 +0200 )edit

Wouldn't say that (yet). But the investor's initiative resulted in making Jolla clearly too weak to achieve any disruptive target. Only a massive commitment from investors having a proclaimed, consistent and winning strategy will allow the ship to navigate safely. Of course, this will never succeed if investors and managers disagree with each other.

objectifnul ( 2016-01-15 14:33:36 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-01-14 09:29:42 +0200

tortoisedoc gravatar image

updated 2016-01-14 09:31:08 +0200

I hate to spoil such things,

but the answer IMO is a clear NO. Jolla has very clear responsibilities on the failed success of the Jolla phone. They are very obvious and have been extensively discussed both here and on TMO. See for yourself.

On top of that;

this "blockification" which is created by putting Android and iOS on one side against SFOS (and viceversa) reminds me of the coldwar eastern vs western block of early 80's in Europe. This whole politicalization of operating systems is total BS in my opinion. Stop that, going back there is NOT going to help in any way. The world has moved on since then, and it does really NOT need such a fragmentation anymore.

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your analogy is a little off. The blockification depicted here is usually iOS vs. Android where SfOS is non-aligned.

tad ( 2016-01-14 12:39:02 +0200 )edit

I disagree. Simply because of this statement here :

"For the American initiative to spy on the world to succeed, it broadly needed to achive three goals - have complete dominance on OS'es that run computers (smartphones incuded)"

tortoisedoc ( 2016-01-14 15:17:29 +0200 )edit

with "here" I meant "on this plattform", not this specific thread. But anyways, your quotation is also referring to the US as a state (i.e. its agencies and their influence), not iOS and Android as a monolithic block (disclaimer: I don't share the conspiracy theory formulated in this thread).

tad ( 2016-01-15 00:32:04 +0200 )edit

Indeed it does; that's where the whole blockification is coming from it seems to me. Or, the implicit association America & iOS/Android, for instance.

tortoisedoc ( 2016-01-15 09:23:11 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-12-01 12:29:25 +0200

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Last updated: Jan 30 '16